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Minister of Climate Change and Environment Witnesses 15 UAE Businesses Pledge to Reduce Food Waste on World Food Day

In the presence of His Excellency Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, 15 private businesses, mostly from the hospitality sector in the UAE, today signed a pledge to cut down food waste in the country on the occasion of World Food Day – a day of action dedicated to eradicating hunger across the world.

The initiative challenges companies to save one million meals by end-2018, raising the target to two million in 2019 and three million in 2020. Joining Emaar, Majid Al Futtaim and Rotana Hotels & Resorts that took the pledge in May 2018, the businesses committed to the noble mission at the latest Environment and Business Majlis that convened under the leadership of His Excellency Dr Al Zeyoudi. The session drew the participation of elite businessmen and representatives of leading national enterprises in the UAE.

Highlighting the idea behind the pledge, His Excellency Dr Al Zeyoudi pointed out that the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations reported that roughly one-third of the food produced in the world for human consumption every year – approximately 1.3 billion tons – is either lost or wasted. Estimates indicate that in the UAE, food waste costs the national economy around AED13 billion annually.

His Excellency Dr Al Zeyoudi said: “Today, we reaffirm the UAE’s commitment to meeting the global target to reduce food loss and waste by 50 percent by 2030 as per the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 12: Responsible Production and Consumption. Furthermore, our joint efforts seek to contribute to achieving Sustainable Development Goal Two: Zero Hunger.”

He added: “I am proud to note that the UAE hospitality sector is one of the few in the world to take such a decisive step that aligns with the country’s sustainability drive.”

The majlis encouraged private companies to invest in sustainability solutions to support the UAE’s Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC). The participants explored the innovative systems provided by the food tech company Winnow to help chefs measure, monitor and dramatically reduce food waste.

The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment launched the Environment and Business Majlis in 2016, headed by the Minister of Climate Change and Environment and comprising representatives of major businesses in the UAE. Aimed at boosting the private sector’s contribution to environmental causes and align companies’ business goals with the government’s environmental strategies, the majlis contributes to achieving the strategic objectives of the National Climate Change Plan of the United Arab Emirates 2017-2050 and the UAE Green Agenda 2015-2030.

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